Three great sites to help you with pairing your fonts!

Design Resources, Typography

Maybe you aren’t awesome at picking and pairing fonts for your projects… so this may help just a bit. Its not a guarantee that your typographic skills will be unmatched, but they will help you quite a bit. I have picked three sites that are incredibly helpful, and I hope you think so too.

When it comes to finding the perfect font for a class or client project, the process can be tough. finding the EXACT font you want can be somewhat of a nightmare if we are being honest… especially if you have thousands and thousands of fonts to choose from. Honestly, where do you even get STARTED with options like that? If you are anything like me, you have a hard drive somewhere literally stuffed full of font files, some free… some paid. Looking into that hard drive can be crazy overwhelming. Without years of industry experience, it can be downright impossible to start pairing.

So, I did some homework for you… and found some sites that not only help you choose an excellent font for any one project, but in certain cases it will help you learn how you can start making better choices about the types of font you pair with others, and understand what makes some typefaces just plain look better than others for a project.

1. My favorite… is Fontjoy!

I LOVE this setup! It was created by a Designer/Engineer Jack Quao, and uses deep learning tech to figure out the specific features of any given font, and then calculates which one would work with another best. The final output is a nicely paired set of typefaces without you having to worry about the science or magic behind it. Obviously, a good Typographer will be able to tell if the output is any good… but it’s a great place to start for a newbie!

2. Type Connection is a visual BEAST!

I absolutely love this thing. It’s got this strange approach to making YOU think about how you are pairing typefaces, and was actually built as a thesis project by Auri Weiner. It calls itself a “typographic dating game” and I just love it. You pick a font, then the software gives you a selection of different strategies not unlike dating to help you combine and pair fonts into beautiful matches. It’s kind of a trip, and worth your time to explore.

3. Google Web Fonts Typographic Project is literally an amazing idea!

Another great site that is designed to showcase some good looking combos using only Google Fonts, one of my personal favorites. It takes a really, super-interesting approach to showcasing all the font pairings you could really want to see. It uses Aespop’s Fables and displays passages making visual connections to the content and the typefaces being displayed. Rather than seeing yet ANOTHER “The quick brown fox…” line of text again, you get to actually engage in the typeface.

Five Great Ipsum Generator Sites

Design Resources

I get a LOT of these really weird ipsum lorem generators when students turn in design work with placeholder text. Over the last few years I have bookmarked a few of my favorites and thought I would make sure some of my favorite links are out there.


Bacon Ipsum

A meatier lorem ipsum because who doesn’t love bacon? Certain to help grease even the most pig-headed clients. My personal favorite from the stack, and gets really good reactions from clients and coworkers alike.


Bob Ross Lipsum

Why continue using basic lorem ipsum in your designs when you can use peaceful, relaxing, and soothing Bob Ross quotes? Some of my students will get the reference to this new favorite generator, as I have spend hours and hours streaming Bob Ross in my classroom.  Enjoy.


Zombie Ipsum

NO LIST would be complete without this jewel in my opinion. If your client loves zombie flicks or The Walking Dead, Zombie Ipsum should be in all your mock ups. Now with 50% more brrrraaaiiiins!



The most hipster lorem ipsum generator around, though you’ve probably never heard of it. Some of the most entertaining ipsum I have used, and I was into it way before it became cool.


Pirate Ipsum

Arrr me hearties! Make traditional Latin walk the plank and opt for pirate lorem ipsum for your next design high seas adventure.  This is more of an honorable mention, since I love the design of the site. It’s gorgeous, but the font used when the ipsum is generated is a little hard on the eyes. Still though… worth a few spins.

Great Sites for Royalty Free Photos

Design Resources, Photography, Royalty Free Images

My students seem to have trouble finding images that they CAN use. We absolutely cannot simply use Google Images in our artwork, what we really need is CC0 Images. In a nutshell, a CC0 images is actually free from copyright, and actually has been given to the community by waving all the rights the work.  You can copy, edit, change, distribute, and use these images (even for PAID COMMERCIAL PROJECTS) without any pesky lawyers chasing you down to slap you in cuffs or sue your pants right off.

Below, I have reviewed and linked five sites that offer you access to these types of images, and I strongly suggest that every designer bookmark them forever. Enjoy nerds.



Unsplash offers a large collection of free high-resolution photos and has become one of the best sources for stock images. The Unsplash team combs through new submissions and features the very best photos on their homepage. All photos are released for free under the Unsplash license.  Easily one of my favorite sites, and I frequent it often.  To my students, I suggest you make an account there and try to add content with your own pictures.


StockSnap has a large selection of beautiful free stock photos and high resolution images. The site also has a very handy search feature making it easy to browse through the thousands of images available. In addition, the site tracks views and downloads so you can find the most popular photos available.  StockSnap adds hundreds of images on a daily basis and all photos are released under creative commons public domain – no attribution required. This site is great for submissions too, for aspiring photographers or photography students *hint hint*.



While not a frequent stop for me when looking for images, Burst is a resource from Shopify that provides free stock photos for entrepreneurs. All photos are licensed under Creative Commons CC0 and can be used as you see fit.  Burst was launched to help entrepreneurs make better products, websites, and marketing campaigns. Most of the pictures are original photos that were taken in-house and are themed around trending business niches.  That being said, it is quite annoying that you need to sign up for their spam emails in order to get high resolution photos. Make up your own mind if it’s worth it to you.



Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through our discover pages.  When you download, you are gently encouraged to say thanks to the photographer with easy links, which I absolutely love. I am a big fan of giving credit where credit is due, and I strongly suggest that everyone in the industry take the very small amount of time it takes to help promote folks like this.



Gratisography offers free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. New awesome pictures are added weekly and are free of copyright restrictions. All pictures are captured by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design. While this site does have some interesting images, I find the actual photography to be pretty specific, and not great for everyday use. However, when you do find the right image from this place, it’s usually amazingly accurate. Judge for yourself.

So, obviously there are way… WAAAAY more sites out there that offer this kind of content, and I encourage all of my students to explore and bookmark their favorites. If you find any good ones, let me know.